Title: A.I.M. for a way forward: Youth insights for strengthening the disarmament machinery
Sub-title: UNODA side event to the first Preparatory Committee meeting for the 2026 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)
Young people have proven their influence and commitment time and again in support of disarmament. As the United Nations Secretary-General recognises in his policy brief on “Meaningful Youth Engagement in Policy and Decision-making Processes”, young people act as “crucial actors in strengthening peace and security”.
Acknowledging this potential for young people to act as the ultimate force for change, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) with its Leaders to the Future held a side event at the first Preparatory Committee meeting for the 2026 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The event provided a platform for young leaders to share their ideas and innovative recommendations to strengthen multilateralism in the disarmament, non-proliferation, and arms control regime. The occasion also aimed to inspire intergenerational solidarity and intersectoral dialogue.
The official side event was opened by Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, and Mr. YOUN Jong Kwon, Director General for Nonproliferation and Nuclear Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. The opening remarks were followed by a series of presentations by the Office’s Leaders to the Future and a panel discussion with a selection of distinguished speakers. The event also featured an interactive and engaging discussion with both in-person and online attendants.
Working as a group of over 50 young leaders from around the world, the Leaders to the Future drafted a set of recommendations to advance progress across a series of topics related to disarmament, including the UN Secretary-General’s New Agenda for Peace, gender parity, multilateralism, emerging technologies and diversity, equity and inclusion. With generous financial support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, ten of the Leaders to the Future presented the cohort’s recommendations to stakeholders to contribute towards efforts for building a safer, more sustainable world for all.
The High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, delivering opening remarks
Agenda and Speakers
- Ms. Marykate Monaghan, Youth Outreach Consultant and #Leaders2Future project lead, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)
- Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)
- Mr. YOUN Jong Kwon, Director General for Nonproliferation and Nuclear Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea
Presentations from the Leaders to the Future:
- Mr. Almonteser Albalawi
- Ms. Christelle Barakat
- Mr. Musa Carew
- Mr. Philip Chennery
- Ms. Monalisa Hazarika
- Ms. Sofia Polishchuk
- Ms. Vanda Prošková
- Ms. Mariana Roa
- Ms. Linh Trang Phung
- Mr. Santiago Yarahuán
Interventions from distinguished speakers:
- Ms. Elin Bergner, Research Assistant, Open Nuclear Network (ONN)
- Mr. Marvin Huber, UN Youth Delegate of Austria, Austrian National Youth Council (BJV)
Recording of the event
A recording of the event is available at the official YouTube channel of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs .Spotlight video
Pictures of the event